Welcome to the NICMOS UofA Information Server

Near Infra-Red Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer




Your are the visitor to access this page since 12 December, 1994.

The Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) is a second-generation instrument to be installed on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) during the February 13, 1997 on-orbit servicing mission. NICMOS will provide infrared imaging and spectroscopic observations of astronomical targets between 0.8-2.5 microns.

INDEX to NICMOS UofA Information Server

What's New? (added/changed recently)

03/21/95 Special Note: The telephone area code for the NICMOS Project, Steward Observatory and the University of Arizona has changed. Our new are code is 520.

12/22/96 Proposal/Operations Related Information Removed

12/01/95 Flight Detector Flat Field Response

12/01/95 GRISMS and Multi Object Spectroscopy


NICMOS is an HST Axial Replacement Instrument, containing three cameras designed for simultaneous operation. The NICMOS optics will present the detectors with three adjacent, but not spatially contiguous Fields-of-View of different image scales. NICMOS will employ three low noise, high Quantum Efficiency, HgCdTe 256x256 Focal Plane Arrays in a passive dewar using solid N2 as a coolant. Thermoelectric cooling will prolong the nominal mission lifetime to approximately five years. NICMOS will provide spectral coverage in the range of 0.8 to 2.5 microns, and will contain a variety of Filters, GRISMS, and polarizers. Each camera carries a complement of 19 of these optical elements, selected through three independent Filter Wheel Mechanisms. Grism spectroscopy, in the widest field camera (number 3) will provide a multi-object spectrographic capability with a resolution of ~200. A 0.3 arc-second radius occulting spot, and optimized cold mask, in the intermediate resolution camera (number 2) provides a Coronographic Imaging Capability . The NICMOS Fore-Optics Assembly will fully correct the spherically aberrated HST input beam. NICMOS will achieve diffraction limited performance in the high resolution camera (number 1) to 1.0 microns, and in camera 2 to 1.75 microns. An internal Field-Offset Mechanism will allow NICMOS to observe background fields and in parallel with other HST instruments without the necessity of re-pointing the spacecraft.

Additional information may be found in a number of NICMOS Related SPIE Papers.


Estimates of integrated NICMOS/HST system sensitivities are summarized in a series of detector/filter specific graphs and tables. These are based upon our best current knowledge of sub-system and individual element performance figures. These estimates will be periodically updated as ground calibrations of the instrument progress.

NICMOS Science Team members may access an Operations and Proposal Instructions Overview which describes the standard detector operating modes and other considerations for on-orbit use of NICMOS. This information is subject to change and should be regarded as preliminary. Other potential NICMOS Users are encouraged to contact the Space Telescope Science Institute for this and related information.

A draft document describing the detector mode-dependent Exposure Logsheet Optional Parameters is available to NICMOS Science Team members. This document still in work and some minor changes may appear in STScI's Cycle 7 Phase 2 proposal instructions. Other potential NICMOS Users are encouraged to contact the Space Telescope Science Institute for this and related information.

PEOPLE (telephone, e-mail, positions, etc.)

  • NICMOS Project @ UofA Staff List

  • NICMOS Instrument Definition Team

  • NICMOS Staff @ Ball Aerospace

  • STScI Staff


    NICMOS Image Analyzer S/W (IDL procedure)

    (FTP Directory: astro.as.arizona.edu/pub/NICMOS/software/analysis)

    The NICMOS Image Analyzer (NIA) is an IDL procedure (Version 3.6 or later) developed by the NICMOS Project for the analysis of NICMOS data through an IDL graphical user interface. Its primary features include four graphics windows for full and zoomed images and row, column, surface, shaded surface, contour, and histogram plots. Five images may be loaded simultaneously and image arithmetic may be performed on them through user supplied algebraic expressions. Hardcopy (greyscale or color) may be generated from each graphics window. Pixel values may be examined in an additional text window. See the README file in the ftp directory for more information.

    The following flight and ground S/W elements are provided for reference to Ball, GSFC, STScI and UofA project personell. They may be of limited interest to others. NSSC-1 NICMOS Flight Software PDL

    NICMOS will make use of three dedicated Application Processors running on HST's NSSC-1 (NASA Standard Spacecraft Computer 1) for normal, on-orbit, operations. The program description listing for the Control Section Communication, Macro, and Safing Processors are contained in the above file. This is PDL/81 V2.0(vb).908 of the NICMOS Flight Software.

    NICMOS Embedded Flight S/W PDL

    (anonymous FTP Directory: nicmos2.as.arizona.edu/pub/NICMOS/software/flight/EFSW)

    The instrument control and operations S/W which resides in the NICMOS memory is referred to as the Embedded Flight S/W. Detailed program descriptions, implementation notes, etc., for the 80386 C code may be found in this FTP directory. The files found in this directory (and sub-directories) are Microsoft Word and Excel documents, and have originated at Ball Aerospace. *CAVEAT EMPTOR* Portions of this code are under development and subject to change.

    SER OPS-02F (DM-05), SI Commands and Flow Diagrams

    This document contains the information needed for the generation of commands for the NICMOS Science Instrument (SI), including:

    1) NICMOS Commanding Requirements 
    1.1) System Level Command Requirements 
    1.2) NICMOS Command Terms and Definitions  
    2) DM-05 Place Holder  
    3) SI Level Modes Definition 
    3.1) Mode Definitions and Flow Diagram 
    3.2) Hardware States 
    3.3) Mode Transition Table 
    3.4) NICMOS Component States Information.  
    4) Operations Description Timing and Constraints 
    4.1) NSSC-I Timing Data 4.2) NICMOS Timing Data  
    5) Macro Activation Request Definitions  
    6) Parameter Definitions 
    6.1) Mechanism Limits and Settings 
    6.2) Symbols of Interest   
    6.2.1) NICMOS Address 
    6.2.2) NICMOS Enumeration Literals
    6.2.3) NSSC-I Address 
    6.2.4) NSSC-1 Offsets 
    6.2.5) NICMOS Offsets 
    6.3) Filter Wheel Proposal Parameter Definitions  
    7) NICMOS Reset Conditions 
    7.1) Hardware Resets 
    7.2) Software Resets           
    HST Project Data Base (PDB) Files for SM97

    The HST Project Data Base is a collection of ASCII flat files which contains information used by various HST project elements, ground and flight software. This is a development version of the PDB in support of the 1997 Service Mission and beyond. The format and structure of the PDB is controlled by ICD-26. Consult the Tape Table of Contents file for the principle point-of-contact for each file.


    Retrieve images from the PICKLES a Macintosh tool for planning observations using the Guide Star Catalog.

    OTHER "Stuff"

    NICMOS Meeting Schedule

    Photometric Standard Star Calibrtion Program

    Systems Engineering Reports INDEX


    NICMOS Science Team Home Page (restricted access)

    Ball Corp. Home Page

    STScI's NICMOS Development Home Page

    Space Telescope Science Institute Home Page

    Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility

    Swales' Optics Group Home Page

    Requests for additional information and/or comments regarding the NICMOS UofA Information Server may be addressed to: gschneider@as.arizona.edu (click for more info)